Maori Prospectus Essay

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Derouen 1 Shelby Marie Derouen Research Prospectus 1. Research question: Is rejoining the tradition of Maori tattooing a means of connecting with a past identity, or forming a new one altogether? 2. I have been looking into the different forms of tattooing to gain insight into the reasons for displaying them. Upon researching the many cultures for tattoos, I stumbled across the history of Moko. While Westernized cultures may view tattooing as the creation of memorials, declarations of love, and the like, it means much more to the Maori. In New Zealand the Maori have long held facial tattooing to be a sacred practice. Moko is the process of chiseling the skin, and inserting pigment (Nikora, Rua, Awekotuku 478). It is one of the biggest milestones in the Maori way of life. Moko tattoos not only adorn the face with rich designs, but identify the wearer to others in the community. Each facial tattoo is unique, and displays the individual’s lineage, rank, social status, power and prestige (Maori Tattoo). Recently this tradition has been making a reappearance. People in many different regions have been reconnecting to Maori roots, or adopting the tradition for its rich meaning. Many more tattoo shops are offering Moko, and this is where I will begin my research. Asking questions of the artists now responsible for creating a link to past roots can give me an idea of where to begin studying local members of this group. I plan to try finding members who have readopted this practice, and asking questions regarding Derouen 2 identity in relation to their Moko. Ultimately I hope to discern if their tattoo has connected them to a past cultural identity, or helped them to form a new one. Derouen 3 3. Working Bibliography "Maori Tattoo: The Definitive Guide to Ta Moko." Zealand Tattoo. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2015. Nikora, Linda WaimarieRua, MohiTe Awekotuku, Ngahuia.

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